It is raining offers for mobile phone users in the country these days. With a few weeks left for the end of 2016, six major mobile operators have introduced free voice call offers.
It is raining offers for mobile phone users in the country these days. Expect some more to come in the coming months. With a few weeks left for the end of 2016, six major mobile network operators have introduced free voice call offers. No one could have imagined this, say six months ago. But the launch of Reliance Jio on September 1 changed the rules of the game.
Announcing the launch of Reliance Jio, Reliance Industries Limited head Mukesh Ambani had said: “So, today (September 1), I have great pleasure in announcing a revolutionary concept for the Indian market. All voice calls for Jio customers will be absolutely free. The era of paying for voice calls is ending. Jio will usher India into a new era on the Jio network. Across India. To any network. Always. And in the spirit of One India – no roaming charges also. Jio will put an end to voice call charges in India. No Jio customer will ever have to pay for voice calls again.”
Along with the nation-wide free voice calls, Jio offered free unlimited 4G data (with a cap of 4GB per day use!) for the first three months. In the next few weeks of the launch of Reliance Jio, other service providers like Vodafone, Airtel and BSNL also came up with their own versions of “free” data offers. However, free voice call offers were missing.
Last month, Jio extended its free three-month “Welcome Offer” to all its subscribers till March 2017 under a repackaged “Happy New Year” plan. Soon, other service providers joined the race. They have now come up with enticing offers to retain their respective customers. For the starters, BSNL, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea and Airtel have introduced free voice calling offers, apart from promising cheap 4G data plans.
Let us take a brief look at the free voice call offers by the major service providers:
On Friday, Vodafone announced unlimited free voice calls for its prepaid customers with the launch of two new packs. The price of the first pack may vary from Rs 144 to Rs 149 in different circles. It offers unlimited local + STD calls to Vodafone connections across the country and 50MB data for 28 days. This pack also comes with the unlimited free incoming offer on national roaming and 300MB data for 4G handset users.
The second pack price may vary from Rs 344-349. It offers unlimited local+ STD calls on all mobile and landline phones across the country and 50MB data for 28 days. It also comes with unlimited free incoming calls on national roaming and 1GB data for 4G handset users. These plans are available for all 2G, 3G and 4G customers.
For Rs 149, Airtel prepaid users can make free calls to Airtel numbers. This pack also comes with 300 MB of 4G data for 4G mobile phone users and 50 MB for non-4G mobile handset users. Airtel prepaid users can make unlimited calls to any network on a Rs 345 recharge. They will also get 1GB of 4G data for 28 days with this pack.
3. Idea Cellular
Idea Cellular has also launched two plans priced at Rs 148 and Rs 348. With a recharge of Rs 148, Idea customers can make free local and STD Idea-to-Idea calls across India and get 50MB of data. The pack also provides 300 MB data for customers with 4G handsets.
The second pack of Rs 348 offers free local and STD calls across all networks in India along with 50MB of data. The same pack also provides 1 GB of data for users with 4G handsets. Both the packs will be valid for 28 days and the price of the packs may vary slightly from circle to circle.
BSNL is expected to launch a new recharge pack of Rs 149 that would provide unlimited local and national voice calls to all networks for a month. The pack will also provide free 300 MB of data. This plan may be launched on January 1, 2017.
Aircel is providing free voice calls for 90 days along with unlimited 2G data for a month for a recharge of Rs 149. With this pack, Aircel customers will get free calling from Aircel to Aircel (local and STD). It also offers free calling from Aircel to other networks but only up to 250 minutes per month for the total duration of 90 days.
6. Reliance Jio
Reliance Jio is offering free 4G data and free unlimited voice calls up to March 2017. After that, it will continue to provide free voice calls and cheap data, with its plans starting at Rs 149 for 28 days. It will come up with 300 MB 4G data access during the day and unlimited usage at night daily. Jio has also proposed to provide unlimited free use of its music, movie, TV, news and all other apps, video call, SMS.
(Inputs from agencies)